Tuesday, August 26, 2008


My dad has this vintage tandem bike in his garage that he's looking to sell.
(this is not the bike, but the same model...thanks youtube!)

Pretty sweet, huh? I'm attempting to help him sell it (he lives off the grid) was looking at it over the weekend. While it needs some cleaning and mild adjustments, it seems to still be in pretty good shape. It's a "vintage" bike, circa late 60's-early 70's and yes, I rode this as a youngster.

Point in fact, we grew up riding this bike all over town. What they don't tell you is that nobody really rides a tandem. I mean, most folks might try it once or twice, say on a vacation or on a dare...but as a usual mode of transport? You don't ride a tandem to work...or to work out for that matter.

It does get a lot of attention. It was like riding one of those turn-of-the-century bikes with the giant wheel. Everyone looked at you like the circus was in town when you rode by. They really do have an yesteryear feel to them.

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Quiet Man. There is a scene where John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara jump on a tandem bike and escape the watchful eye of their chaperone. It seemed romantic and daring and probably kept me on that bike longer than had I not wished on my 9th birthday to be transported into that film for a day (something akin to Brigadoon.)

As I was pretty young at the time, I got stuck riding in back which had it's good points - not pedaling if my sibling cheesed me off - and it's bad points - no steering ability equaled no control - which led to being cheesed off, which led to no pedaling. It was quite the vicious circle.

Ours hasn't been ridden in ages and really, it's a bit sad when a bike doesn't get ridden. It's like when you look at an abandoned swingset in someone's backyard. It has all this potential to give someone a bit of joy, but it just sits, untouched and motionless.

So, it's for sale.

In that vein, I've been going online to suss out a fair asking price for a vintage tandem. I've checked out a vintage bike forum (they are more about trading than selling) and I finally had an excuse to go on Craig's List . Honest. I've never tooled around on it before.

Not too much there regarding vintage bike enthusiaists, but I fell prey to the siren's call of odd and weird postings...the ones that I've always heard of, but had never witnessed.

Looking for a Cooking Buddy (Chicago, IL)
My partner is an excellent cook but he doesn't have the patience to teach me and I'm not allowed in his kitchen. I really want to learn how to cook and it would be great if I can meet someone once a week and have cooking sessions, nice chats, and start a friendship. Someone who also enjoys a good mystery, foreign movies, short walks, nice wines, and needlework.

What does foreign film and needlework have to do with learning how to cook? Why do I suspect that Craig's List has become the Men's Rest Stop Bathroom for the "aughts"?

Oy. Fuck it.
Anybody want to buy a bike?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

open bar

Who likes KARAOKE? (hand raised)

WNEP is hosting a night of song and suds this Wednesday, August 27th at The Spot on Broadway. $15 gets you all the karaoke action you can handle without setting yourself on fire! And did we mention? Open bar from 8:30pm - 10:00pm!

Sure it's a school night. Yeah, you have that presentation the next morning...but this is your night to get your groove on, baby! Step out ofthat shower and show us what your mama gave you! Rock out to "Forever inBlue Jeans" the way Neil Diamond could only dream of kicking it!

Or sit back, relax and listen to the WNEPeeps croon out a lyric or two. Come on out and mingle with the folks of WNEP. A portion of your $15 cover charge goes into our coffers which goes towards our upcoming productions!

- Want to know what WNEP's working on next?
- Longing to ask about something that's stuck in your brain since you sawMetaluna and the Amazing Science of the Mind Revue?

This is your chance, brother!

The Spot on Broadway - 4437 N Broadway St
Wednesday, August 27th
$15 cover gets you OPEN BAR from 8:30pm - 10:00pm!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 15, 2008

auf wiedersehen

Two more nights of Metaluna...and then...she's a'history.
I'll miss her.

Friday, Aug 15 at 8pm
Saturday Aug 16 at 8pm - CLOSING NIGHT!

Metaluna and the Amazing Science of the Mind
A Red Orchid Theatre - 1531 N Wells St
Tickets: $15 (Thu); $20 (Fri/Sat)
Call 773.661.3195 for reservations or go to Brown Paper Tickets

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

fickle fortune

It's my birfdaye.
I was born on Wednesday, August 13th in the year of our lord 1969. For reals.

This ode has been stuck in my head for a few days now. There are many variations of "Monday's Child" - the fortune telling rhyme of old - but this is the version I grew up with.

Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.

Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

While I currently am not full of woe, there are times when I am one with the woe. Until last year, I thought I was born on a Saturday (which also blows...who wants to be told as a child that they'll have to spend their life working hard? I call bullshit, Anon!)

Still, I love words that are considered "olde timey" and not used often in the general vernacular of today. Which means that while I think this poem should have it's ass kicked, I also secretly love that I am linked to "woe." Especially in this case, since I embrace the hyperbolic like Lenny loved his rabbit.

I am not sad. I am not depressed. I am full of woe.

Deal with it.

Okay. I just sat here and tried to think of a way of wittily squeezing the use of "calamity" in this post. It's one of my favorite words. Calamity. If I had to name a town or if I ever got a companion for Olive, I would name it/he/she, Calamity.

Wait. That's not true. If it was a town, I would name it Calamity. If it was another dog, I would name it Elia Frumpkin. If it was a blue goldfish, I would name it Calamity...or Monroe. And if it was a pygmy hedgehog, I would name it Pai Mei. Because, Pai Mei has much to teach and will kick your ass if provoked.

And if anyone ever gave me a pygmy hedgehog for my birfdaye?...well, after Olive killed it, I would send them a heartfelt, tear-stained thank you card with poloriods of the bloody remains.

Note to self: pen rap lyric that contains, "...like Lenny loved his rabbit."

Monday, August 11, 2008


My family came to see Metaluna this weekend.

- My father, who's nearly blind in the one good eye he has left.
- His sister/my sweet (and only) aunt, who is a firm believer that foul language is never funny and that songs should not be written about your father's kidney cancer...no matter how healing (and humorous) it might be.
- Her two daughters/my cousins, who are more into Gray's Anatomy than August Osage County....in fact, I'm pretty sure they've never even heard of Tracy Letts, much less AOC.

I was fairly sure they would politely sit through it, tell me I was "wonderful" ...and then we'd silently agree to never speak of it again.

I was completely wrong. They really loved it. My aunt and cousins were the most reactive, engaged and vocal audience members of the evening. Metaluna is an enigma of a play. It's challenging and crazy and makes no sense for the majority of the show. And my role comes very late in the show, which I try to let folks know, so they can relax and enjoy the play without wondering when the hell I'm showing up.

They was very impressed by the entire cast and the commitment and intensity each actor brought to their role. The ladies were very excited to meet Joe (the playwright.) As fortune would favor me, they sat in the front row, directly across from where I am "placed" on stage. (I'm wheeled in on an antique wheelchair and there I sit for the remaining 25 minutes of the show.) Fortunately, since I really am blind without my glasses, it was easier than I thought to stay focused on the play, even though they were mere inches away from me.

One cousin, after seeing the show, was a bit annoyed with me, "Why is this the first time I've see you perform?!" To be honest, they never seemed that interested (both exist in that suburban sphere of kids, soccer, etc.) ...and I'm long past the point of trying to twist the arms of friends and family to see me onstage.*

The best part of the evening was when, as she handed me a bouquet of flowers, my cousin said, "We probably should have gotten you something different. These flowers aren't very dada." Dude. That made my night.

I'm embarrassed that I gave them so little credit.

Anyway, I'm glad I was wrong. Metaluna is a show that I'm immensely proud to be a part of and am extremely thankful that my family came out to share it with me.

I'm also thankful that afterwards, Joe drank two beers, which somehow led to this grand show-stopper:

Ah, yes. We theater folk are so incredibly elitist. If only folks knew how often backstage banter is comprised of who farted, things we read/watched on the news/youtube/itunes, how gross a spit valve is, who grabbed whose balls, glue guns, how much caffiene one consumed, old tv commercials and sandwiches.

Now dance, monkeys. Dance.
Three shows left. Holla back.

*Except you, Miro. You've got three chances left to see it.

Friday, August 8, 2008


100 years war

I've been meaning to post about the Cubs sweep of Milwaukee last week...but I've been too high from the sheer joy of it. And the last two games against Houston? It's was like watching Lupus catch that fly ball! You just want to jump up and down with glee! 69-46! Such. Lovely. Numbers.

Here's the odd thing though. Normally, I would be sharing all the ups and downs of the season with my grandmother Wanda. I can hear telling me how good her boys were today...and how those lousy bums need to learn how to field already! Her voice is like a song that gets stuck in your head. It fades in and out, but it's constantly swimming around in there.

Wanda passed away just over 3 years ago and in her absence I've been calling my Pop (her son) to commiserate and celebrate accordingly. It's not the same. First off, my Pop is more a Bears fan than a Cubs fan. Sure, you can be both, but in this case, I think he'd end our season early, if it meant getting to football season faster.

Also, I don't know which my father is more frustrated with, my support of Obama (he's for McCain and still can't figure how he raised "such a freaking liberal")...or for my complete and utter optimism for the Cubs going all the way this season.

Instead of enjoying what a phenonmenal year it continues to be, he watches games and reports back to me with nothing but contempt and the assurity that they are going to blow it out their old wazoos....any day now. It's like he won't allow himself be hopeful on any level.

Just you watch. They'll blow it yet.

In a way, I think my Pop has taken a lot of hits in the past few years - his health, his ability to work and care for himself and in general, just being a bit lonely. Because of these things, he really doesn't want to have any more hopes dashed. I can't blame him, but I wish he could just allow himself to enjoy the moment.

More importantly, he's totally killing my buzz, yo.

Go Cubs! Kick some Cardinal ASS this weekend! For Wanda, kids. For Wanda.


There are only SIX peformances of Metaluna left! That's the thing about short runs...they are muthascratchin'...short! I'm going to enjoy every minute left of these folks...even with this stupid sinus cold that will not jump ship.

If you haven't seen it, you only have a few more chances:

Tonight! Friday, Aug 8 - 8:00pm
Saturday, Aug 9 - 8:00pm
Sunday, Aug 10 - 7:00pm

Thursday, Aug 14 - 8:00pm
Friday, Aug 15 - 8:00pm
Saturday, Aug 15 - 8:00pm - CLOSING NIGHT

I'm gonna miss these fools and foolishness.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I'm having a hard time concentrating today. Still on those antihistamines...and to be honest, I need a break from a project I'm working on. A friend sent one of those emails where - instead of them telling you 20 thing about themselves, you had to fill in the blank and return it. Ah...time killers, how we adore thee!

Odd. I seem to be at a loss on my friend's eye color. Pah! And when did we meet/became friends? Seriously? Haven't you just always been there? In that corner? Sipping your cocktail?

The best question was the following: If you and I were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing that I would bring?

The best response was from Sir Dennis who wrote back: [You would bring] the entire script of some god awful movie (....hmmm.....what would that movie be.......well I will let you bring it and surprise me) so we could turn it into a hip hop new broadway musical. I think you can take shit and turn it into gold!!! I want to be there to reap the harvest.

Well, I don't know about you, but I heard a gauntlet drop.

[execute difficulty level 3 hip hop stance]

Here is my Top 10 List (Letterman style) of Scripts to turn into the Hottest Hip Hop Musical to Ever Hit Broadway:

If Phantom can have that huge chandellier crashing into the stage, we can have giant worms lunging out of it (and performing as a breakdancing chorus line)

The catch? We get a different B or C list celebrity to play the "dead politician" each week.

But only if WE star in it. Me in Bette's role, Sir Dennis in Shelly Long's.

My fav Olivia De Haviland flick. Set in WWI, she throws down a one-night stand with an aviator (who I believe is later tragically killed), has his illigitimate baby for which she devises a scheme to "adopt" while still protecting her family's good name. Scheme backfires and she spends her entire life forced to watch another family in town raise him and later, send him off to WW II. I can hear the beatbox even now....

The entire cast made up of trannies and cross dressers. With the exception of Ralph Macchio reprising his role as Johnny! "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold."*

This will be waaaaaay bigger than Mamma Mia. A rallying cry for all the 30/40-something women who remain single and/or get dumped at the alter/knocked up by their lout of a boyfriend. There's even a sub-plot on "trapping a rich man into marriage...or having an abortion!" Plus, it's set in VEGAS! VEGAS!!!

Cashing in on all the NASCAR lovers - and with six raggamuffins in this, it will be the next Annie!!

Who doesn't want to hear a musical about pre-teens gettin' it on at camp? Also, we'll have Kristy MacNichol in a cameo role as the camp counselor.

Four words. Singing. Dancing. Vampire. Strippers.

And my number one script to turn into the hottest hip hop musical to ever hit broadway.........

I'm pitching it as The Breakfast Club meets Les Miz!

Okay. Back to the grind I go.

*Confession. "Stay Gold" - the theme to The Outsiders was voted by my HS class to be our "class song." Granted, we voted for it our freshman year..and what 14 year old in 1983 wasn't completely rocking out to this Stevie Wonder classic? Uh. Well. It seems like the thing to do at the time. (Oh, and you'll want to click to the the youtube vid. It's even more painful and sacchrine than I remember. "Life is but a twinkling of an eye...Yet filled with sorrow and compassion...") Yeah. I think we all just wanted Emilio Estevez Matt Dillon C.Thomas Howell to make out with us. And this was the next best thing. Word.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

this wards off spells

If I didn't know better, I'd think this was straight out of The Chappelle Show.
I mean, that "amateur sketch"? Genius.

Thanks to dooce for this gem. That, my friend, is journalism at it's finest.

Friday, August 1, 2008

shooting blancs

There is very little improvisation in Metaluna. Joe Janes wrote a fantastic script...but as most actors are wont to do (even Joe), a line or two gets added here and there - especially when the direction is for there to be hub-bub or some emotional reaction from the other actors/ensemble.

Our man Tiger, played my Michael Johnson, often leaves the audience cracking up with such gems as, "That was awful. Your mother should be ashamed for birthing you." And, "That was terrible. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and kill your mother before she birthed you. And then I would kill myself."

It's in the delivery, I swear.

But last night, I had some co-workers in the audience (who totally dug the show) and near the very top of the show, they heard someone exclaim, "Good day to you, sir. I said GOOD DAY."

Now, that line is not in the script and I was a bit preoccupied last night back stage, so I'm not sure who dropped that gem. But that line (as well as being classic comic gold) has been a staple of our shop talk at work. So, when said co-workers heard it, they peed a little with joy and then embraced the rest of the show wholeheartedly.

Of course, that's all I've heard around the office today. When pressed as to where this quote came from, we've been racking our brains and searching the internets.

This is my presentation.

While the phrase, "Good day, sir. I said GOOD DAY!" has been used in many films and tv shows over the years, including NewsRadio, the Simpsons, Seinfeld, King of the Hill, and That 70s Show, Tootsie and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…I believe I have found the source of it's original parsing.

I present, Mr. Foghorn Leghorn, circa 1946.




Yeah..I can' t find a wav file of him actually saying it…but I'm 99.9% sure that he was the first one. At least as far back as my little pea-brain can recall.

In other news...there are only 10 performances of Metaluna left to be had!
Don't be the last on your block to see it!